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ENTERTAINMENT NOTES: Ballet classes at Walton, CALS hosts book discussions

by Eric E. Harrison | January 17, 2023 at 1:52 a.m.
Stephen Markley discusses his book “The Deluge” Feb. 2 in a virtual discussion, part of the Central Arkansas Library System’s “Six Bridges Presents” series. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

Elsewhere in entertainment, events and the arts:

DANCE: Classes, auditions

Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division, in the wake of the ballet company's November performances of "The Nutcracker" at Fayetteville's Walton Arts Center, will hold free interactive master classes from 2:45-4:15 p.m. Monday for students in academic eighth grade and older and 4:30-6 p.m. for adults in the Starr Theater at the center, 495 W. Dickson St.; register at (Walk-in participants can also register in person one hour before each class begins.)

The Ballet School is also holding auditions Jan. 24 for students entering sixth grade and up in September: 4 p.m. for grades 5-7 and 5:45 p.m. for grades 8 and above. The company is seeking dancers to join one of three full-time programs: Ballet Academic, the Anna McCowan-Johnson Aspirant and the Teacher Training Program. Applicants audition as a group and are assessed on talent, aptitude for classical dance, flexibility, coordination, musicality and artistry of motion and a demonstrated passion for dance. Students identified as having potential for professional training will be invited to attend Summer Session in Winnipeg in July, which will serve as the second step in the audition process.

Cost to audition is $50; register at Take a photograph of yourself facing front, showing a tendu in second position, with arms in second position; wear a leotard (bodysuit), tights and soft shoes (pointe shoes are not required); students who do not have ballet slippers and/or leotard and/or tights are can wear socks and tight-fitting clothes that will allow them to move. Long hair needs to be in a bun if possible, or at least off the face.

BOOKS: Author talks

Stephen Markley will discuss his book "The Deluge" at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 2, the first of two virtual book discussions from the Central Arkansas Library System's "Six Bridges Presents" series. Catholic High School principal Steve Straessle will be the moderator. Admission is free. Register at

"The Deluge" charts a potential near-future collapse starting with a death threat to a scientist studying undersea methane deposits. Markley's other books include "Ohio," "Publish This Book" (a memoir) and "Tales of Iceland" (a travelogue).

At 6:30 p.m. March 2, Benjamin L. Carp will discuss his book, "The Great Fire of 1776: A Lost Story of the American Revolution." Moderator will be Vaughn Scribner, associate professor of British-American history at the University of Central Arkansas. Admission is free. Register at

Carp is a professor of history at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is the author of "Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America" and "Rebels Rising: Cities and the American Revolution."

For more information, call (501) 918-3098, email or visit

ETC.: NEA grants

The National Endowment for the Arts is awarding 10 grants totaling $230,000 to Arkansas organizations, in the categories of Grants for Arts Projects, Challenge America and Research Awards, as part of its first round of recommended awards for fiscal year 2023.

The Arkansas grantees, amounts and categories:

  • ◼️ Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, $50,000, Grants for Arts Projects — Museums
  • ◼️ Oxford American Literary Project (aka The Oxford American), Conway, $25,000, Grants for Arts Projects — Literary Arts
  • ◼️ University of Central Arkansas, Conway, $30,000, Grants for Arts Projects — Visual Arts
  • ◼️ Alex Foundation, Dermott, $10,000, Grants for Arts Projects — Design
  • ◼️ TheatreSquared Inc., Fayetteville, $30,000, Grants for Arts Projects — Theater
  • ◼️ University of Arkansas Main Campus, Fayetteville, $25,000, Grants for Arts Projects — Folk & Traditional Arts
  • ◼️ Meadowcreek Inc., Fox, $10,000, Grants for Arts Projects — Folk & Traditional Arts
  • ◼️ Sonny Boy Blues Society (aka King Biscuit Blues Festival), Helena-West Helena, $30,000, Grants for Arts Projects — Music
  • ◼️ Southwest Arkansas Arts Council Inc., Hope, $10,000, Grants for Arts Projects — Local Arts Agencies
  • ◼️ Chamber Music Society of Little Rock, Little Rock, $10,000, Challenge America.

TICKETS: 'Chicago' in LR

Tickets — $39-$93 — go on sale at 10 a.m. today for the 25th Anniversary Tour of the Kander & Ebb musical "Chicago," 7:30 p.m. March 17 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. March 18 at Little Rock's Robinson Center Performance Hall, 426 W. Markham St. at Broadway. Call (501) 244-8800 or visit or


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